All sound, no fury: Only two of the 35 councillors come forward, submit their proposals for budget

Councillors of the Municipal Corporation who cry hoarse every year over the lack of their involvement in preparation of the budget of the civic body have failed to submit any proposal. With Thursday being the deadline for submission of the budgetary proposals, just two of the 35 councillors came forward to give their suggestions.

BJP councillor Satinder Singh and nominated councillor Surinder Bahga are the only two who have submitted the proposals. The remaining councillors across party lines have failed to give any proposal to be included in the budget.

Last year, when the first budget of this tenure of the civic body was presented, the councillors had opposed it, saying that no suggestions had been sought from them. In fact, this has been happening in the previous years as well, with the councillors terming the successive budgets as being similar to each other.

When the preparations of the budget for the financial year 2013-14 started, Mayor Subhash Chawla had sent a letter around a fortnight back to all the councillors asking for their suggestions that could be included in the budget. The result has been dismal. The civic body is preparing a Rs 220-crore budget for the coming financial year under the Plan head.

The councillors claim that they do not have any idea what they are expected to submit. BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta says, "A meeting of the councillors should have been held to brief them about the kind of proposals that could be submitted. We do not know the outline of the budget or what proposals have been included in it. It is only when we know this that we can make suggestions."

There are others who claim they are quite satisfied with the work in their wards and there is nothing left for which they require special budgetary provisions. Congress councillor H C Kalyan says that work is already progressing well in his ward. "All my estimates are passed and work is going on well. There is nothing left to be done. Whatever little work has to be done, I will give ward development fund for it," says Kalyan.

This, despite the fact that Kalyan is the area councillor of sectors 49, 50 and 51 as well as some colonies where residents often complain about lack of development.

Mayor Chawla, however, says that the councillors were given a chance to give suggestions as they have in the past complained of not being able to give their opinion on the budget. He added that apart from two councillors, no one had submitted any proposal.

What the two say

Councillor Satinder Singh has demanded that there should be more focus on primary education and primary health departments that has been lacking. It has been demanded that ways of increasing the revenue receipts of the Municipal Corporation should be looked into. Separate funds should be kept for maintenance and repair of the infrastructure facilities that have been developed.

Councillor Surinder Bahga has emphasized the need for improving sanitation conditions. However, there is no specific proposal for which budgetary allocation has been demanded.

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